Current Affairs

16 August, 2021


Invest India becomes co-organizer of International Climate Summit 2021

Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India has joined the ‘International Climate Summit 2021 (ICS 2021)’ as co-organizer. ICS 2021 is an initiative by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Environment Committee. It is scheduled to be held on September 3, 2021. The summit will help in building a platform for India’s transition to clean energy with focus on ‘Powering India’s Hydrogen Ecosystem’. It is supported by the Government of Norway as the Partner Country. In addition, 40 leading organisations, including Reliance Industries Limited, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, ONGC Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, GAIL (India) Ltd, will act as sponsors of the summit. The summit will position India as a leader in the field of renewable energy, specifically Green Hydrogen.
About PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Chair – Dr. J P Gupta
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Invest India
MD & CEO – Deepak Bagla
Headquarters – New Delhi

7th IBSA Academic Forum 2021 held Virtually

The 7th IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) Academic Forum 2021 was held virtually on August 11-12, 2021. It was hosted by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), an autonomous think-tank of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The Forum was inaugurated by Minister of State for External Affairs, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh. India is the Current Chair of IBSA. During the meeting, the participants discussed economic partnerships. India highlighted the efforts taken under the ongoing IBSA fellowship programme. He also underlined the contribution of the IBSA Fund since its inception.

India Organizes IBSA Tourism Minister Meeting 2021
India organized the IBSA Tourism Ministers Meeting 2021 virtually. Tourism Ministers of all 3 countries attended the meeting. It was organized to promote tourism cooperation among the member states, the participants reviewed the intra IBSA Tourism cooperation.
IBSA Dialogue Forum
i.The IBSA acts as a forum for India, Brazil & South Africa to promote cooperation. It was formalized and named the IBSA Forum in 2003, when the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia (capital of Brazil). India as the current IBSA Chair is set to convene the 6th IBSA summit virtually in September, 2021. Theme of the forum – “Democracy for Demography and Development”.
About Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
Director General – Sachin Chaturvedi
Headquarters – New Delhi


Pollution Control Boards of Odisha & Telangana ranked 1st in Transparency: CSE Report

The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) of Odisha and Telangana have been ranked 1st in The Transparency Index:Rating of Pollution Control Boards on Public Disclosure report released by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi based non-profit Organisation.

Objective: It aims to encourage SPCBs/PCCs to disclose their information in the public domain. The report assessed 25 indicators of the data disclosure performance of 29 SPCBs and 6 Pollution Control Commitee’s (PCCs) from across India during the period of 2016-2021.
Rank List Of SPCB (%) of Transparency
1.Odisha State Pollution Control Board 67
1.Telangana State Pollution Control Board 67
2.Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board 65.5
3. Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board 64
About Centre for Science & Environment (CSE)
Director General – Sunita Narain
Headquarters – New Delhi`

India’s 4 New Sites from Gujarat, Haryana Added to Ramsar List; Haryana Got 1st Ramsar sites

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced the addition of 4 more wetlands from India, 2 each from Gujarat and Haryana in ‘The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance’/ Ramsar Convention.

About Ramsar Convention:
i.The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that was recognised by the United Nations (UN) and registered with the UN. The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention is hosted & administered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
ii.It provides framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
iii.The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
Note – World Wetlands Day will be celebrated on February 2nd every year . The theme of 2021 is “Wetland and Water”.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:
Union Minister – Bhupender Yadav (Constituency – Rajasthan)
Minister of State – Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency – Buxar, Bihar)

PM released Capitalization Support Funds of Rs. 1625 Crore to over 4 lakh SHGs

The Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually participated in ‘Atmanirbhar Narishakti se Samvad’ where he interacted with women Self Help Groups (SHG) members/community resource persons promoted under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

Release of funds:
During the event, he released capitalization support funds of Rs. 1625 Crore to over 4 lakh SHGs as a major financial support to increase the scope of entrepreneurship among women on lines of AatmaNirbhar Bharat.He also released 25 crore as seed money for 7500 SHG members under the PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoSPI). PMFME provides financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises. Apart from above, 4.13 crore funds were also released to 75 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) being promoted under DAY-NRLM.
Other Participants: Union minister for rural development and panchayati raj Giriraj Singh; Union minister for food processing industries Pashupati Kumar Paras; Ministers of state (MoS) rural development, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Faggan Singh Kulaste; MoS panchayati raj Kapil Moreshwar Patil and MoS MoSPI Prahlad Singh Patel.

MoEF&CC notifies Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 to Prohibit Single Use Plastic Items by 2022

i.In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 6, 8 and 25 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986, (29 of 1986), the Central Government amended the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016 with Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021.
ii.These new rules were notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) prohibits the identified single use plastic items with low utility and high littering potential w.e.f. July 1, 2022.
iii.With effect from September 30, 2021, the thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from 50 microns to 75 microns.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC):
Union Minister– Bhupender Yadav (Constituency- Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency- Buxar, Bihar)


RuPay Launched Campaign #FollowPaymentDistancing to Promote Contactless Payments

In August 2021, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced the launch of a strategic campaign named #FollowPaymentDistancing by RuPay.

Objective: To promote and encourage contactless payments among customers in unpredictable times like COVID-19.

Note – Presently, RuPay cards are issued by more than 1,100 banks which include Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural and Co-Operative Banks.
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
RuPay, the first-of-its-kind global card payment network from India is the product launched by NPCI in March, 2012.
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO -Dilip Asbe

DBS Bank India & ODeX Offers Credit Solutions to Freight Forwarders in Shipping Industry

DBS Bank India made a partnership with ODeX India Solutions Pvt. Ltd to introduce ‘ODeX Pay Later Solutions’ powered by DBS to provide credit solutions to Freight forwarders in shipping industry.

Objective: To enable the ODeX customers to access comprehensive payment and financing solutions for all their ocean shipping transaction The ODeX Pay Later Solutions will allow freight forwarders to make direct payments to ship liners. Businesses with a turnover of Rs 3 Crore to Rs 200 Crore and have completed over 5 years in the same industry and are eligible to avail unsecured loan of up to Rs 50 lakhs from DBS Bank.

Eligibility: To avail the ODeX Pay Later Solutions, the customers need to have associated with ODeX for a minimum of 1 year

About ODeX India Solutions Pvt. Ltd:
It is a platform to exchange shipping documents and facilitate payments.
Establishment – 2015
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD – Liji Nowal

KreditBee Launched Virtual Prepaid Card ‘KreditBee Card’ in RuPay Platform

KreditBee, the digital lending platform, in partnership with RuPay and RBL Bank launched a virtual prepaid card named ‘KreditBee Card’ in RuPay platform.

Objective: To provide the unserved and underserved banking customers with an access to short-term liquidity with multiple repayment options.

Features of KreditBee Card:
i.Under the card, the customers could avail credit limit of up to Rs 10,000, which has to be repaid in a single billing cycle within 45 days.
ii.As the KreditBee card is a credit-line backed prepaid card, the amount will be loaded into the account once the user sends a purchase or drawdown request.
iii.The virtual card/e-card could be generated on the KreditBee app immediately through the AI (Artificial intelligence)-driven underwriting process.
iv.It enables the customers to make instant transactions and upgrade their credit limit within a single billing cycle.
v.The card offers versatility and flexibility in terms of ticket size and repayment options.
vi.KreditBee intends to offer 1 million cards by the end of FY22. The card launch will increase the penetration of RuPay cards in India.
About KreditBee:
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Co-Founder and CEO – Madhusudan Ekambaram

RBI Issues Draft Proposals to Liberalise Overseas Investments Norms

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued two draft documents viz, Foreign Exchange Management (FEM) (Non-debt Instruments – Overseas Investment (OI)) Rules, 2021 and FEM (OI) Regulations, 2021 by rationalizing the existing provisions that are governing overseas investment.

Objective: To liberalize the regulatory framework of overseas investments and promote ease of doing business. The Draft FEM (Non-debt Instruments -OI) Rules, 2021 has outlined the restrictions on overseas investments. The draft on FEM (OI) Regulations, 2021 enables the Indian entity to lend or invest in any debt instruments issued by a foreign entity subject to such loans duly backed by a loan agreement. RBI imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 1 crore on Cooperatieve Rabobank UA, Mumbai, Maharashtra, for contravention of certain provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and directions related to ‘transfer to reserve funds’.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Reserve Bank of India has four fully owned subsidiaries.They are
i.Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC)
ii.Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL)
iii.Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited (ReBIT)
iv.Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS)


Former Indian Cricketer Unmukt Chand retires from Indian Cricket

Former Indian Cricketer Unmukt Chand (28) announced his retirement from Indian Cricket. He was the captain of the Indian Under-19 team which won the World Cup in 2012 held at Australia. A right handed Batsman who has played 77 Twenty 20 Internationals(T20s) with 1565 runs, 120 List A matches scoring 4505 runs and 67 First Class Cricket matches scoring 3379 runs. Chand is set to play in USA’s Major League Cricket (MLC), he has signed a 3 year deal with MLC. Chand has written his memories of the Under19 Cricket World Cup into a book titled, ‘The Sky is the Limit’(2013).

Maharashtra’s Harshit Raja becomes India’s 69th Chess GrandMaster

20 year old Harshit Raja from Pune, Maharashtra became the 69th Chess GrandMaster of India after drawing his game against Dennis Wagner at the Biel Masters Open. He won Silver in Under-13 National Chess Championship in 2014 held at Jamshedpur and Gold in School Games Federation of India (SGFI) Nationals held in Tamil Nadu in 2014. In April 2021, 18-years old Arjun Kalyan from Tamilnadu (TN) became India’s 68th Chess GrandMaster(GM).

Grandmaster Title
i.GM is a title awarded by FIDE(International chess federation).It is the highest title a chess player can obtain apart from World Champion.
ii.In order to qualify for the title of GM,a player must achieve 3 GrandMaster norms in events covering a minimum of 27 games and an ELO(Electric Light Orchestra) rating of at least 2500 at any point in their career.
iii.Vishwanathan Anand is India’s 1st GM, he achieved it in 1988. Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi is India’s 1st Woman Grandmaster, while Gukesh D is India’s Youngest GM.
About International Chess Federation(FIDE):
President – Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters – Lausanne,Switzerland.


BEAM Signed MoU with FDRVC to Avail e-spot Market Platform to FPOs

BSE E-Agricultural Markets Ltd (BEAM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSE has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chain (FDRVC) to strengthen the price discovery mechanism of the commodities traded by the Farmer Producer Organisations(FPOs).

The BEAM platform was launched in December 2020 by BSE.
The MoU aims to support FPOs supported by FDRVC to avail the market Technologies offered by BSE, specifically the customised e-market solutions of FPOs.
Features of the MoU:
i.This MoU will enable both BEAM and FDRVC to collaborate with the outcomes for smallholder farmers(SHF).
ii.Both the entities will adopt the ecosystem approach and work with the institution to bring significant inputs to strengthen the rural value chain in India.
iii.FDRVC intends to leverage the strengths of the larger BSE ecosystem like BSE SME Exchange and BSE Institute to strengthen the overall capabilities of the FPOs.
This MoU is in line with the objective where the FPO’s of India would get access to the BSE Ecosystem including BEAM”s e-spot markets.
Benefits of BSE’s electronic spot platform:
Access to the regulated and transparent marketplace, direct access to multiple buyers, receipt of cash directly into the account of beneficiary and reduction in intermediate costs.
About BSE E-Agricultural Markets Limited (BEAM):
CEO- Rajesh Kumar Sinha
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chain (FDRVC):
FDRVC is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development and Tata Trusts
CEO- Alok Kumar De
Headquarters– Delhi
Launched in 2019

CCI Approved the Acquisition of 9.3% stake in Grofers India & HoT by Zomato

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of a 9.3% stake in each of Grofers India Private Limited(Grofers India) and Hands-on Trades Private Limited (HoT) by Zomato Limited (Zomato). Grofers International Pte. Limited (Grofers International) is the investment holding company of Grofers India and HoT.Zomato has invested around 100 million USD( around Rs 745 crore) to acquire a minority stake in Grofers to have more exposure to the online grocery segment.

Other Acquisitions:
i.CCI has also approved the acquisition of shareholding and certain rights in ANI Technologies Private Limited (ANI) by Plum Wood Investment Limited (Plum Wood), MacRitchie Investments Pte. Limited(MacRitchie) and Fort Canning Investments Pte. Limited(Fort Canning).
MacRitchie, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited(Temasek), is an investment holding company. ANI is involved in the operating internet and mobile technology platform that provides taxi and auto-rickshaw service under the brand name Ola.

ii.The proposed combinations also envisages the acquisition of voting rights by Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal in ANI.

iii.Temasek, Warburg Pincus and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal have invested around 500 million USD (Around Rs 3733 crore) ahead of the proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO).
About Zomato Limited (Zomato):
Founder & CEO– Deepinder Goyal
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Incorporated in January 2010
About Grofers India Private Limited(Grofers India):
CEO & Co-Founder– Albinder Dhindsa
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Established in May 2015

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